Posted in Tibetan Buddhism

Tara Mandala Retreat 2009, Day 5



Prajna Paramita review

Lion: symbolizes the fearless truth of the dharma.  “Because, in a way, the dharma’s not all that reassuring.”  Uncompromising investigation into the nature of reality.  4 lions hold up the corners of the throne.

Emptiness: “If an ant walked on this, would it experience it as a bell?  If a dog looked at it, would the dog experience it as a bell?”  “At what point does it become a table and for who is it a table?”  “Your mother might be talking to your sister about you, thinking they’re talking about the same thing, but in reality, they’re both just talking about their ideas.”

Heart Sutra:

  • Form is emptiness
  • Emptiness is form
  • For is not other than emptiness
  • Emptiness is not other than form

The same is true of feelings, perceptions, karmic volition (impulses), & consciousness.

Not both, not neither.

9 breaths: passion, aggression, ignorance

Using a “support” in meditation: the breath, an object to look at, etc.  An expression, like “Whatever thought arises: cut.”

Eventually, you stop and practice without an object.  Then, even trying stops.

No object is used in Prajna Paramita practice.  Fairly advanced method.

At death, 2 things are functioning: prana (lung) & karmic traces, which are part of the mindstream.  At night, what is dreaming is the mindstream.

We’re extremely psychic after death.  We often forget our part lives due to the intensity of being in the womb & being a baby.

We are addicted to clinging.  When that stops, the mindstream clears.  That is dharmakaya.

Dharma: the teachings

Kaya: formless dimension

Prajna Paramita sutra is considered very powerful & has healing qualities.

Peaceful deities are connected to the moon-disc.  Wrathful deities are connected to the sun.  When both are used, the deity is balanced.


Tsultrim believes there is an energy, a being, outside of our beliefs.  Tara is one of them.  We can connect with that enlightened mindstream.  Sambhogakaya deities can be directly experienced.  Dharmakaya deities are archtypes.

Prayer is opening your energy field to receive the loving energy that deities are putting out all the time (because it’s their nature to do so.)

You can receive a substance from them, called blessings.

Heart mantra – generates the power of the deity.  Action mantra – removes the obstacle, takes the requested action, etc.

Machig said all demons are from the mind.

Transmission: transmit the experience (ex: the nature of mind) through words & practice.  It’s personal.  Being in person, you’re the in the energy field [of the teacher]; it’s a different experience than reading a book or listening to a tape/CD.

6:03 PM

We just did clay work feeding our demons with a partner.  Magnifique!

Dealing with resistance

Has not feeding this demon worked?  No?  Perhaps you can try feeding it just a little bit.

There is a tendency to recreate the demon because it’s familiar.  It’s a habit.  This is why in Chod, after the feeding, there is a teaching on the nature of mind.  This is why we rest at the end of demon feeding.

9:15 PM

Today has been a very emotional day, and I don’t feel much like journaling.  In short, I snapped at someone (about a 2 on a 1-10 scale) and so apologized.  That was the demon I fed using the clay, & it was very revelatory.  Then someone else accidentally hit me in the head with a heavy cushion, & I felt all her embarrassment & regret.

I want to get to sleep early.  I’m trying chamomile tea.

photo_sunset over trees


Ven. Dr. Myodo Jabo (Sandy Gougis) is a Zen Master and Priest in the Five Mountain Zen Order. She began studying Theravâdin Buddhism in 1998, adding Zen in 2003, and Vajrayana Buddhism in 2008. She currently practices in both the Zen and Tibetan traditions. Her Zen teacher is Most Ven. Wonji Dharma of the Five Mountain Zen Order, and her Tibetan guru is Lama Tsultrim Allione of Tara Mandala. In her free time, Myodo enjoys painting, jewelry making, and other creative endeavors.

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